Spain ended 2021 with record job creation

A worker walks onto a building under construction in Valencia, eastern Spain, 3 November 2021. [EPA-EFE/KAI FOERSTERLING]

Spain ended 2021 with 840,700 new jobs, the highest figure since 2005, and 615,900 fewer unemployed, leaving the unemployment rate at 13.3%, the lowest level since 2008.

The recovery of the economy experienced after the pandemic hit the country hard in 2020 made 2021 a “record year” in terms of employment figures not seen since 2008, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.

The number of employed people increased by 153,900 in the fourth quarter compared to the previous one, according to official data of the Labour Force Survey (Encuesta de Población Activa), published on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute (INE),

The figures for the last quarter also underscore the effect of the Omicron variant on the economy.

The number of employed persons absent from work due to illness was 812,400, which is 109,600 more than in the previous quarter and 246,900 more than in the last quarter of 2019, before the pandemic outbreak the INE reported.

There was also a rise in the number of people teleworking and a 31,000 decrease in the number of people in temporary lay-off schemes (ERTE).

On Thursday, prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, celebrated the promising figures, which show that “this is the legislature of employment”, he said.

Economic Affairs minister, Nadia Calviño, said that the “spectacular” employment figures allow “a good start of the year 2022 and a positive economic outlook”.

(Fernando Heller |

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